The Department of Natural Resources and the Environment supports courses in the disciplines of applied ecology and management, environmental sociology and environmental ethics. Many of the department’s courses are required in the Environment & Sustainability core curriculum and concentrations.

The department’s rich selection of courses emphasizes quantitative and analytical skills that will benefit students intending to pursue graduate study or jobs in environmental and related fields. Students considering careers in resource and ecosystem management, environmental policy or biodiversity conservation will be drawn to many of our academic opportunities. 

Want to learn more? Explore our course offerings


Students in a classroom

A complete and current list of course offerings in natural resources can be found in the Cornell University Courses of Study guide.

The Capitol Building and fountain in Washington, D.C.

Our Environmental Policy Processes course (NTRES 4300, NTRES 4301, NTRES 4302) explores the creation, implementation and evaluation of environmental policy at the federal level.

Marc Goebel with students

NTRES 2100
Taught by Dr. Marc Goebel
Introduction to field identification, natural history, and study of plants, animals, and natural systems. Emphasizes the interaction of students with nature, the recording of ecological phenomena, and advancing student awareness and understanding of the natural environment, including ecological concepts (e.g., ecosystem, community, habitat, and niche). Students work cooperatively in hands-on field lab exercises to build skills in the identification and classification of native biota and their natural history. Students conduct an independent field research project in which they formulate research questions from field observations, develop a sampling plan, collect field data, and interpret those data for a research report/presentation. Students maintain a detailed field notebook of natural history observations from field labs and independent observations.

Students walking in stream during a class

NTRES 4560/BIOEE 4560
P. McIntyre & A. Flecker

Lecture examines patterns and processes in stream ecosystems, including geomorphology and hydrology, watershed-stream interactions, trophic dynamics, biogeochemistry, disturbance, and conservation and management. Field and laboratory exercises focus on experimental and analytical techniques used to study stream ecosystems, including techniques to measure stream discharge, physical habitat, water chemistry, and stream biota. Field project with lab papers.